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ST. LOUIS-Build-A-Bear Workshop is expanding its international presence around the globe. The company is nearly done converting a chain of 25 UK stores called the Bear Factory into its own flagship units, and opened its first locations in Germany and Thailand during its third quarter.

Build-A-Bear management says that it plans to eventually increase its international reach to between 70 to 75 units in the UK and about 300 stores in other non-domestic countries. The retailer currently has 38 stores in England and Ireland, as well 27 in other countries.

Management says it expects to be busy in the US as well. “We still have a lot of potential to add to our market share here,” said Maxine Clark, the company’s chief executive “bear,” during its third-quarter conference call.

She outlines the potential for a total of 350 stores in the US, up from the 213 it currently operates. During the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, Build-A-Bear opened 10 new units; a total of 32 openings are planned for the entire fiscal year.

Growth is also coming from other chains and real-estate formats. Friends 2B Made, a doll store with eight units, three of which have opened this years, will have an additional location by year’s end. A stuffed-dinosaur concept, Build-A-Dino, opened its first store in the third quarter, in Kansas City, KS.

Meanwhile the company is exploring non-traditional real estate–it has units in five baseball stadiums and the St. Louis Zoo. Clark says the non-traditional stores do sales per sf of $700, compared to $600 at the typical Build-A-Bear mall location.

Despite Build-A-Bear’s expansion plans, the company’s Q3 income, at $2.7 million, was down from $5.3 million during the same period a year ago, while same-store sales dropped 5.8% year over year. Total sales shot up 20.8%, to $101.5 million.

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